Discovering the rewards of eating more vegetables thanks to Reader’s Digest: Vegetables for Vitality cookbook
My New Year’s resolution for 2020 is to love who I see in the mirror, meaning myself. As a wife and mother, I work really hard to make their lives as happy and healthy as possible. The amount of energy required can take a toll on me and I often have little to no energy left for myself.
I am far from complaining, though. These two are my world and I happily give them all that I have. But, over the last couple of years, I have started seeing changes in myself that I didn’t like. And while much of what I saw were physical changes, I noticed that the physical changes affected my mental status which in turn starts to affect my family. That was reason enough for me to change.
So, I am working out again, drinking less and eating healthier. One way to do that is to increase my vegetable intake. I found this cookbook very helpful in understanding vegetables and the role they play in the body!
1. Vegetables provide great fuel
The body uses carbohydrates to make “blood sugar” or glucose. Glucose is the body’s fuel! The carbohydrates found in vegetables are known as complex carbohydrates which are far better for the body than simple carbohydrates. Complex carbohydrates are broken down and used by the cells in the body to boost energy without spikes and falls.
2. Vegetables are rich in fiber
There are two types of fiber and both are beneficial to the body. Soluble fiber can dissolve in water, which means that the vegetables in this category mix with the water in your body to create a gel-like substance which helps to slowly release sugar into the bloodstream, and it benefits the heart by binding to fats and cholesterol. Insoluble fiber prevents constipation, aids in weight loss, increased the feeling of fullness, and may help prevent digestive tract illnesses.
3. Vegetables provide quality protein
Vegetables, grains, and legumes can provide the body with quality protein (most equivalent) when properly combined and balanced.
4. Vegetables are virtually fat-free
What does that mean? Well, many vegetables do contain oils and fats such as avocado, corn, or olives. However, they are considered “virtually fat-free” because these fats are considered good for the body! They help lower cholesterol and protect the heart. Animal oils and fats are known to do the exact opposite!
5. Vegetables can help with weight loss
The explanation for this has been mentioned before. Vegetables contain fiber which can help you feel full thus reducing your intake of high-calorie foods. Leafy greens, in particular, are full of fiber but low in calories. This means you can eat a bunch of them without consuming too many calories.
So, a diet containing mostly vegetables is a sure-fire way to lose weight!
6. Vegetables supply crucial nutrients to the body
Vegetables are great sources of carbohydrates, protein, fiber, and fat (all of which have been mentioned already). However, vegetables are also great sources of calcium, potassium, iron, magnesium, and other vitamins and minerals! All of these are required by the body to be healthy, strong, and properly fueled.
7. Vegetables help prevent disease
Scientists are discovering just how much vegetables can help our bodies heal in addition to keeping us healthy. This is the study of phytochemicals. They believe that glucosinolates found in broccoli, cabbage, and various other greens are cancer fighters. Other cancer fighters include onions, and garlic because they contain allicin. They continue to dive into the study of phytochemicals to prove that consuming vegetables can indeed prevent and fight disease!
*Most information provided in this article are sourced from Reader’s Digest: Vegetables for Vitality cookbook*